Monday, August 31, 2009

consultation with dr. jeffrey, surgical oncologist...

today we met with trish's surgical oncologist, dr. stephanie jeffrey. dr. jeffrey is the surgeon that performed trish's first mastectomy back in november, and she will perform trish's second surgery as well.

the visit today was just a consultation to go over what will happen during surgery. since we have been through this once before, we have a pretty good idea of whats to come.

the differences this time around are several:
- no lymphnode removal (trish had 18 removed during the last rodeo)
- less skin removed, since its not a cancerous area, the removal will not be as eloborate
- reconstruction will immediately follow on both sides, by Dr. Gordon Lee
- dr. jeffrey will also remove trish's medi-port, the device implanted in her chest so she could receive chemo (trish could have removed this earlier, but it would have resulted in another, seperate surgery... this way, its all done at the same time)

its was great to see dr. jeffrey, as we have not seen her since the removal of trish's drain tubes months and months ago.

tommorrow we will be back at the cancer center to have a consultation with trish's plastic surgeon, dr. lee.

thanks for checking in...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

cancers a beach...

trish had the opportunity to attend a luncheon today down at the Seascape Resort in Aptos. the event was hosted by Jackie Whittier Kubicka, the founder of FamiliesCAN.

Jackie and Eduarda, the Director of FamiliesCAN, brought together a dozen or so women who have battled cancer recently. trish had a really nice time meeting others who have gone through similar situations, and hearing everyone's individual story.

the weather has been really hot around here, so caden and i took the drive down to the seaside with trish. while trish was at the resort enjoying an nice lunch with the ladies, caden and i hit up the local farmers market and then went down to the beach to find some shells and build sand castles.

it was a great afternoon on the beach...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

the bone scan results...

we received the results of trish's bone scan from last monday, and she continues to be 100% cancer FREE... :)

this gives trish the piece of mind she was looking for.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

the summer wrap up....

i hope everyone is enjoying their summer. i apologize for not posting in a while, but ill try and get you up to date in this post...

i think the best way is to go with a reverse chronological order, starting with our trip to stanford today to get trish a bone scan.

trish has experienced some soreness in her lower back over the past several months, so for some piece of mind to make sure there is no cancer floating around in her bones, she decided to have another bone scan performed. we headed over to stanford at 9:30am this morning so trish could get part 1 of the scan, a shot of radioactive solution injected into her arm... the fluid circulates through trish's body and coats her bones and the scan later in the day will create a picture showing the density of her bones. so... we then went home for a few hours and returned at 3pm for part 2 of the procedure, the scan itself...

trish and i we were joined by three people today:

- Eduarda Francisco, the Director of familiesCAN. familiesCAN was founded in 2000 by Jackie Whittier Kubicka and helps families affected by cancer with financial support.

- Joe Rodriguez, a columnist with the San Jose Mercury News

- Nhat V. Meyer, a photojournalist with the San Jose Mercury News

Joe is writing an article for the SJ Mercury News about families who've been helped by familiesCAN, and Eduarda asked us if we would like to contribute to the article.

this summer we have continued on the crazy ride that began back in 2008. in april, after nearly 10 years with HP, i was laid off. (if you know of a company looking for a Sales Engineer, let me know...;)

in the second week of june, we were informed that trish's long term disability insurnace was cancelled, effective two weeks earlier... even though trish has several surgeries and recovery periods ahead of her, she was deemed non disabled thus eliminating not only her, but caden's medical benefits as well.

so... it was a interesting few months to say the least. even in this crappy economy, getting laid off came as a surprise... but losing trish and caden's health benefits was the most stressful point in the summer, at least for myself.

not really knowing what our options were, we met with Beatriz Bravo, an oncology social worker at the stanford cancer center. Bea has helped us tremendously, and introduced us to Eduarda and the familesCAN organization, Bea also helped us get trish enrolled in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program offered by Medi-Cal.

so the good news is trish now has medical coverage for all things breast cancer related... the bad news is that anything "un" cancer related, including caden, is not covered.

to get caden medical coverage until i find a new job, we applied for the Healthy Families Program in june. i spoke with a manager there last week, and they are so far behind with paperwork that they just began processing applications submitted in may. sooo... another stress point.

Eduarda and fine folks at familesCAN helped us out with our mortgage payment, and for that we are very grateful. the help of familiesCAN has made the summer a little less stressful. it is a great organization funded by the The Ronald Whittier Family Foundation and has helped hundreds of families in santa clara and san mateo counties.
trish will be attending a ladies retreat hosted by familiesCAN on sunday down in Seascape.

Bone scan aside, today was an enjoyable day. we talked with Joe, Nhat and Eduarda during trish's bone scan (they were in the room with trish and i and watched the scan), and afterward we grabbed something to drink in the cafeteria and had a nice conversation covering the last 16 months of our lives.

the article will be published in the San Jose Mercury News sometime in the next couple of weeks, and i will be sure to let everyone know so they can go out and grab a copy.

sooo.... while this summer has been somewhat stressful with job interviews, dealing with medical insurance, etc... overall, it has been a nice one.

my mini sabbatical has given me a chance to hang out more with trish and caden and get some stuff done around the house (albeit, not as much as trish would like :).
i was able to dust off the woodworking tools and build caden a train table for all his toys (and hopefully keep the coffee table cleaner). i also built a chicken coop for the three new additions to our household... yep... trish came home with a few baby chicks from caden's nursery school, and now they have grown to the point where we are expecting them to lay eggs very soon.

we enrolled caden in a summer session at his nursery school, and that gave him a good chance to hang out with kids both older and younger than him. he will be in the three's class when school starts back up in september.

trish, caden and i took a nice little trip up to pt. reyes for the weekend, and to escape the headaches that awaited us at home... it was a great little getaway, and we had the chance to stop at places along the way that we have driven by for years, but never took the time to stop at..

i started playing softball again, after taking last year off to take care of trish... ive played for the past 12 years, so i missed it. we won the championship, so that was icing on the cake.

trish's sister yvonne, and our niece and nephew, amber and marijn, flew out from the netherlands to spent 5 weeks here in california. caden loved getting to know his cousins and looked forward to playing with them everyday.

the san francisco 3 Day Walk is coming up on October 2 - 4, 2009, and trish and her team of 15 other girls have been actively training and raising funds towards their team goal of $50,000. trish is over 100% of her fund raising goal, but if you are interested in donating to the team, please choose a member who is not yet at 100%.

so all in all, its been a really nice summer. we are getting use to dealing with crap around here, so its actually been pretty normal. i dont think anything really surprises us anymore, but i gotta say the camping trips, trips to the beach, bbq's and parties with friends and family have made the crappy stuff easier to deal with.

trish, caden and i are all doing really well, feeling great and 100% healthy and cancer free...

not sure if caden is growing quicker than trish's hair or if its the other way around, but they are both growing quickly.

we are getting closer to trish's next surgery, so i will continue to update the blog as we get closer. there isn't a confirmed date yet, but we will be meeting with her plastic surgeon soon for another round of consultations.

check back soon for more information on the upcoming article in the SJ Merc...

thanks for checking in...

trish and caden at the marin headlands...

caden trying to catch his chickens...

caden and trish catching butterflies...

caden and i at pt. reyes...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

relay for life @ paly...

trish's healing touch partner, chanda, put together a team for the 2009 American Cancer Society's Relay For Life at Palo Alto High School.

chanda has been leading her team, The Hamsters, for many years, but this year she invited trish to come and walk with "Survivor Lap" during the opening ceremonies.

trish, ria, caden and i headed to paly this morning and joined in the festivities. after the intial survivor lap, caden wanted to walk a lap... so trish and caden took another trip around the track.